The Bhagavadgita glarifise ‘kurukshetra’ as ‘Dharmakshetra’ – the place of Dharma. Rg veda designates Kurukshetra as “vara a prithivyah” (Rg vead 3.23.4;3.53.11) the choicest spot on earth. The Mahabharata puts it at paw with heaven itself:
Ye vasanti Kuruksetre
Te vasanti trivishtasye”(Mahabharata 3.83.4)
Then it was in kurukshetra’s sacred lake Saryanavan, where according to Rg veda (1.84.13-14) the bones of Dadhanch Atharvana (Dadhichi) were found with which the thunderbolt (VaJrayudh) for slaying ninety nine vritras, was made.
Next, as our history hasit, the entire Bharat is in a sense an extension of the “Dharmakshetratva” of kurukshetra. For, the value system of our culture, which is still vibrant, was initially formulated here, and it was from here that it difused to various parts of our country and abroad.
Over 35 sites of the Mahabharata have been identified which have yielded material culture – painted grey ware (PGW) – pottery painted over with designs in black pigment, and antiquities in uniform and identical levels. This Pottery is made of a superior Quality of paste formed of well levigated clay and fine, Well – burnt fabric achieved by distributed heat in the Klin evenly. This civilization is also characterized by the use of iron and other alloy metals which show a high level of knowledge of metallurgy.
Hastinapur, located between Meerut and Mawana in uttar Pradesh is now a forgotten village, but excavations in 1952, revealed the existence of vidurka – tilla (vidura’s palace), Draupadi – ki – rasoi (Draupadi’s Kitchen) and Draupadi Ghat, besides copper utensils, iron seals, Ornaments made of gold and silver, terracotta discs and several oblong – shaped ivory dice used in the game of chauper.
Iron objects numbering 135, and which included arrow and spearheads, shafts, tongs, hooks, axes, and knives indicate the existence of a vigorous iron industry. There are indications of brick – lined roads and drainage systems, and an agro – livestock based economy. The painted grey ware (PGW) of Hastinapura has been assigned to 2800 B.c and beyond. Kota venkatachalam assigns 3138 B.c., as the year of Mahabharata War according to the calculations based on the movement of saptarishi mandala given in the text of Mahabharata Later, according to the Matsya and vayu puranas a heavy flood on the river Ganga destroyed Hastinapura and Nichakshu, the fifth king after parikshit (Arjuna’s grand son) who ascended the throne after kurukshetra war, shifted his capital to kausambi, 50 kilomters from prayagraj. There is definite archaeological evidence of a massive flood level. The devastation by the Ganga is still visible in the thick clay soil. After the exile, the pand vas asked for three villages: Pstructures with aniprastha, Sonaprastha and Indraprastha, generally identified with the modern panipat, Sonepat and puranaqila in New Delhi. These sites have also yielded the same pottery and anti Quities. Building structures with drainage sytems and painted grey ware (PGW) were excavated at purana Qila.
Kurukshetra, now in Haryana, was the site kurukshtra war. Excavations here now yielded iron arrow and spearheads dated by Thermoluminence Test (TM) to 3100 B.c (CIRCA). Today it is town bathing Pools. At the Brahmasarovar, a large lake 3,600 feet by 1500 feet, Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra bathed after a solar eclipse. Bhishma Lay on his bed of arrows at Bhishma Kund. Arjuna shot an arrow into the earth and a fountain of Water flowed out directly into Bhishma’s mouth, Creating the Ban Gang pond. Eight kilometers away is the Village of Thaneswar, the capital of Harsha vardhana in the Sixth century.
The big Question is this:
The excavations were abruptly stopped
Soon after these finds were revealed and
Were never resumed. Why?
Based T.K.V. Rajan Archaelogial Exhibition. C.P. Rama swamy Research Centre, March, 20,2003, Chennai.
In Search of Krishna
The submergence of Dwaraka is described vividly in the epic Mahabharata. Arjuna asked the residents of Dwaraka to vacate the city immediately as it was going to be submerged by the sea. Dvaravati, according to the Sabhaparva of the Mahabharata, was heavily fortified. Dr S.R. Rao started excavating the Dwarkadhish till he hit the remains of 15th, 12th, and 9th century A.D. temples. He dug on, passing two earlier temples, until, at a depth of 9.5 metres, they came to the remains of two towns destroyed by the sea. From the ealier of the two they recovered the characteristic lustrous red Pottery of the Period and region. Encouraged by his findings, he decided to search for Dwaraka.
Underwater exploration yilded two gate ways, fort walls, bastions and a Jetty at a depth of 10 metres off Dwaraka in the Sindhusagar (Arabian sea). Apart from corresponding to the Mahabharata’s description of the city and the mode of its submergence, it has directly ficed a date by Thermoluminence (TM) for the Pottery of Dwarka at 3520 years BP (before present).
Other finds include pottery, bronze and iron implements, three – holed triangular stone anchors at Dwarka, a late Harappan type of seal made of conch of a composite animal – a bull, unicorn and goat – and lustruous red ware pottery at Bet Dwaraka, linking the site to the Harappan culture, and thereby establishing its continuity.
Bet Dwaraka was an island frequented by who is said to have visited its Shankodhara Temple. It also contains the only ancient temple for Matsya, the epic savior of the World at the time of the Great Dissolution by floods. The materials discovered at Dwaraka corroborate history and fix a date for the inundation of the city between 1500 and 1300 B.C.
The most emarkable aspect of both the epic and epic hero is their geography. The Mahabharata mentions many small villages, tanks and hills, which are still identifiable. What is the historicity of the Mahabharata? Our doubting historians will never accept any of these finds unless they are supported by inscriptions, which will never be forthcoming as the earliest inscriptions belong to ‘300B.C.
Another most controversial site is the temple at Mathura, the birth place of Krishna. No excavation has been done here. But tradition and eminent historians associate the site with the birth of Krishna, which is why Aurangazeb consciously chose to build a mosque over it.